10 wellness apps you should be using


Photo drawn by Miranda Kibler ‘21

Meditate, relax and take care of yourself using these apps

Disclaimer: These apps should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice regarding your mental health. However, you can use these apps as a source of entertainment and relaxation. These apps are also not ranked in any particular order.

1. Headspace
Available for: iOS and Android
Price: Free for the first 10 sessions, $12.99/month afterward
Note to seniors: When you head off to college, you are eligible for the student discount of $9.99/year
This is an app geared toward people who are new to meditation. Though the interface may seem a bit confusing at first, if you are using Headspace for free, you only have access to the “basics” pack. The basics include 10 sessions about the principles of meditation and mindfulness. These sessions are guided and can range from three to 10 minutes each. “Everyday Headspaces” are also included for free. These are themed meditation sessions, which focus on subjects like insecurities, recovering from grief and finding happiness. Everyday Headspaces change daily so that you can try sessions with different focuses. This app is helpful for those who want to learn about the basics of meditation and gives you the chance to become familiar with it.

2. Unique Daily Affirmations
Available for: iOS and Android
Price: Free, $0.99/month for All Access subscription
Unique Daily Affirmations is an app that sends you motivational messages both morning and night. The All Access version is not too different from the free version — it just removes ads and gives you more flexibility within the app, such as adding email notifications or customizing your background. The idea behind the app is to help you start your day off right and encourage positive thinking. To receive your affirmation, hold down on the grey button on the app and wait for your affirmation to appear. The developers of the app recommend that you stand in front of a mirror and repeat your affirmation aloud to help you remember it.

3. Plant Nanny 2

Available for: iOS and Android
Price: Free
This app may sound silly, but the idea behind it is less so. Plant Nanny 2 encourages you to hydrate throughout the day. Plant Nanny 1 and Plant Nanny 2 are not that different from each other. As opposed to Plant Nanny 1, Plant Nanny 2 has more detailed graphics and gives you more plants to choose from. When you first download the app, you are instructed to put in your weight and rate your level of activity from sedentary to very active. The app will then determine the amount of water you should be consuming in a day. You are then directed to select a plant. By holding down the button on the screen, you are telling the app that you have had a glass of water and “watering” your plant. As you continue to “water” your plant, it will level up and grow. If you do not drink throughout the day and do not log anything in the app, your plant can die and you will have to start from the beginning.

4. Reflectly
Available for: iOS and Android
Price: Free for regular use, cost varies for the premium subscription
Reflectly is a journal app that is aimed at helping you learn how to be happier in life and reminding you to slow down and take care of yourself mentally. It uses artificial intelligence to track your mood. Everyday tracking of your moods is intended to improve your mental wellbeing. Reflectly has an easy-to-use layout, and to start a new journal entry, you must tap the plus button on the right-hand side. The app will ask you questions about your day, and you can respond by picking one of the emoticons out of the list that it gives you. You can also provide longer, written responses to the app’s questions, but you are never pressured to do so. After six days of journaling, the app will give you more personalized statistics about how certain things have commonly affected your mood.

5. MyOasis
Available for: iOS and Android
Price: Free
MyOasis is a game that encourages you to relax. In the game, you have an island — your “oasis” — and you can fill it with different animals such as a fox, giraffe, camel and more. Hearts are used as currency throughout the game, and they can be used to purchase additional animals. The animals in the game have speech bubbles above their heads that you can tap on, which will reveal kind, motivational statements. As you gain hearts and animals, you can expand your oasis, which increases the variety of affirmations you will see, such as affirmations to inspire confidence, self-awareness and humility.

6. Meditation App (developed by Luni)
Available for: iOS
Price: Free with limited access to content, $15.99/month for unlimited access
This app has a very colorful layout, which adds to its appeal to a variety of users. All of the meditation sessions are divided into categories such as beginner, improving your focus, reducing stress, reducing anxiety and self-love or acceptance. The paid subscription gives you access to all of the meditation courses and sleep stories. The sleep stories are stories that are intended to calm you before bed and focus making you imagine yourself in different settings, such as a musical audition. With the free version, you only have access to the first meditation session in each course, but there are still plenty of sessions you can try. There is a daily meditation and a category for sleep meditations, which are meditations you can fall asleep to. You can also listen to the sounds of nature, ambiance, piano and jazz.

7. Yummly Recipes + Shopping List
Available for: iOS and Android
Price: Free, $5.99/month for the pro version
Yummly is an app that is based on helping you find recipe ideas that are suited to your eating habits. You can search through a variety of recipes or by individual ingredients. Some recipes have video instructions while others just have written directions. Yummly also lets you create a grocery shopping list within the app. When you filter your search by a specific ingredient, Yummly will suggest recipes that you can make. You are also given the option of filtering the recipes based on how much time you have to make them or your dietary restrictions. One of Yummly’s unique features is that it can create recipes for you based on what you already have in your refrigerator. To use this feature, you must give Yummly access to your camera and then you must scan several items together (around four ingredients is recommended) and then the app will come up with recipes involving the foods you scanned.

8. #SelfCare
Available on: iOS and Android
Price: Free
#SelfCare advertises itself as an app to help you destress. The developers of the app recommend that you spend around three to five minutes on the app each day. When you first open #SelfCare, you are shown a virtual bedroom that is fully furnished along with a black cat sleeping on the bed. You are also able to personalize several of the items in the room, such as the bedcovers and rug. There are decorations all over the room and as you tap on them, some will respond with statements such as, “The past cannot be changed. It doesn’t need to be.” Some of the items in the room have mini-games connected to them. Some of these mini-games include “cleaning up the room” and a word puzzle. There are also breathing exercises that go along with some of the items in the room. The breathing exercises are intended to help you destress because they focus on deep, slow breathing, which encourages you to slow down and relax.

9. Sworkit
Available on: iOS and Android
Price: Free for the first three workouts, $59.99/year or $9.99/month afterward
Sworkit is a workout app where you can try a multitude of exercises. You can choose from the featured workouts that the app recommends or create your own. If you choose to create your workouts, you can pick from over 700 different moves to add to your routine. There are also monthly challenges that have a new workout challenge for each day of the month. The other workouts are divided into collections such as dumbbell workouts, quick workouts, focused toning and more. Sworkit also has a collection of workouts for kids, which are always free. Though Sworkit says that these workouts are for kids, they are also viable options for those who do not work out frequently or simply want a lighter workout.

10. Youper
Available on: iOS and Android
Price: Free
Youper was founded by psychiatrist Dr. Jose Hamilton Vargas and is an emotional health assistant that uses artificial intelligence to communicate with you and recommend activities to relax your mind. It is designed to feel as if you are “talking” to a close friend. When you converse with Youper, it is like texting someone. Youper will first ask you questions such as, “how are you doing?” or “what would you like to do today?” To reply, you need to tap one of the responses offered to you at the bottom of your screen. As you continue to respond to the app, it will give you advice on how to clear your mind and offer reassurance or advice when you need it. Over time, Youper will gain a better idea of how different events make you feel. There are also breathing sessions that you can use to calm down and center yourself. In general, after you report your mood to Youper, the app will ask if you would like to try a meditation session. These sessions are tailored towards your feelings at the moment and focus on acceptance and positivity.